Supreme Court Speeds Up Timeline on DACA Case

Demonstrators hold illuminated signs during a rally supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), or the Dream Act, outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. The House and Senate are back in session Sunday with a federal government shutdown in its second day amid a spending-bill impasse in Congress. The House is supposed to be on recess this week, but members stayed in Washington as negotiations continue. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The U.S. Supreme Court is speeding up the timeline for the lawsuit over the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The individuals, organizations, and government bodies suing the administration have until Feb. 2 to file their briefs opposing Supreme Court review. They originally had until Feb. 20. The Justice Department Jan. 18 asked the justices to determine whether the administration had the authority to end DACA.

The expedited schedule allows the court to decide as early as Feb. 16 whether it will hear the case.

The justices already have waded into the lawsuit, issuing an order preventing the lower courts from requiring the Department of Homeland Security to turn over documents related to the decision to end DACA. But the DOJ’s request asks the court to decide the merits of the case before a federal district court judge has had the opportunity to do so.

The case essentially could become moot if Congress is able to reach an agreement on legal status for the young, undocumented immigrants covered by the DACA program. Democratic senators Jan. 22 agreed to end a standoff that shut down the federal government for three days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised to hold a vote on immigration legislation.

The case is Dep’t of Homeland Sec. v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., U.S., No. 17-1003, order 1/23/18.